CRO meaning: What does CRO mean in marketing and business?

CRO is an acronym used by marketers as a catch all to describe the process for increasing the number of conversions a website gets. But CRO meaning is often misunderstood.

CRO meaning

CRO stands for conversion rate optimisation or just conversion optimisation. CRO meaning is often thought to be akin to a series of tips or tricks (or more recently ‘hacks’) which, once complete, will increase the number of people who buy, call or fill in a form on a website.  

The true CRO meaning

CRO is a structured, continual process which uncovers insight about the people who use the website and the factors that impact their decision-making process. As optimisers it’s our job to work out what they need when they’re deciding if they should buy from a business or use a service and how we make the experience more aligned to those needs and persuasive.

The techniques used in CRO are designed to reveal the true needs of website visitors by analysing data related to their behaviour. This means that CRO can uncover the unconscious needs of users. In other words, we can work out what people want and need when they don’t know themselves what they want and need.      

CRO and where people go wrong

The term CRO is often used alongside case studies where the optimiser split tested a tiny change like button colour or call to action text and increased their conversions by 368%. This leads to people believe that tests like this are what CRO is and when they attempt to get the same results on their own website, they are disappointed by the lack of change in behaviour.

This happens for a few reasons:

  1. You need a certain level of traffic to detect changes in conversion rate so small changes like button colour changes usually require a fairly large sample size for the control and variation. Where that sample size is not available, it’s hard to get to statistical significance via A/B testing so the results are inconclusive.
  2. Button colour might be conversion affecting but unless you have done the user research and seen that users are having some sort of issue with it, there are probably better tests to run. Every test has an opportunity cost where you could have been testing something else that would have resulted in a better uplift.

So CRO meaning is often misunderstood or the term CRO is used to mean split testing when it’s actually a whole range of techniques and methodologies which are designed to better understand website visitor behaviour.

If you’re ready to increase the conversion on your website, get in touch and get a free conversion strategy session with a senior optimiser. Call 0161 236 1188 and quote the code CM06.

Nina Mack

5th April 2018

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